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The Ancient Arts Of Regeneration And Embellishment

Media Release

21 February 2003

Dowse revives the ancient arts of regeneration and embellishment

Every day is creative at The Dowse but the Hutt City gallery has designated March as the Month of Creativity, in a partnership between The Dowse, Bernina and the Hutt Arts Society and in association with the exhibition FRUiTs, Tokyo Street Style, photographs by Shoichi Aoki.

Quilting, beading and embroidery with a contemporary edge are celebrated during the Month of Creativity. Renovating old clothes becomes a celebration rather than a chore for the budget conscious. The art of mixing and matching and turning old looks into new is a skill that can be learned.

Dowse Programmes Developer Claire Regnault says that while many associate these skills with their grans, that there is a strong movement among youth to learn these skills, particularly to customise clothing and accessories.

"Embellishing and individualising clothes is something that anyone can do. The handmade, special article has fresh value for a whole new generation. It's not a reaction against technology, in fact technology plays a huge part in creativity today, it's about utilising a range of tools at hand to express yourself and have fun making, says Claire.

"Computer technology has revolutionised the world of sewing. Visitors will have the opportunity to get their hands on some of the latest sewing machines with some incredible software. But the good old fashioned needle and thread still has a starring role."

The Dowse is also pleased to have been able to work in partnership with local company Bernina to present the winners of the 2003 Bernina Fashion Awards, which recognise and reward young fashion talent at national secondary school level. This is the first time the winning entries have been able to been exhibited in public.

FRUiTS, Tokyo Street Style, photographs by Shoichi Aoki opened on Friday 21st with a busy first weekend. The exhibition runs until 30 May.

[schedule follows]

Bernina Month of Creativity at the Dowse

Interested in customising your own clothes and other creations? All it takes is a bit of imagination and some clever stitchery. Throughout March, we are offering a range of demonstrations and workshops to inspire your creativity.

Couturier beading – demonstration
Saturday 6 March 1 to 3pm
In conjunction with Fashion on Wheels, Hutt-based couturier beader, Lyndal Sheat presents a demonstration on the intricate art of decorative beading. Please feel free to watch and ask questions. Free

Fashion on Wheels – floortalk
Sunday 7 March 2pm
Curator of Fashion on Wheels, Claire Regnault, takes you behind the scenes of one of NZ’s biggest fashion events – the New Zealand Gown of the Year. Free

Quilting uncovered – demonstration
Sunday 14 March 1 – 3pm
Three avid quilters take to their machines and needles to demonstrate the diversity and freedom available to today’s quilting enthusiast. The demonstration will focus on fashion - see how quilting can come off the bed and into your wardrobe. Free

Regeneration workshop
Saturday 20 March 10am – 4pm
Refresh... rejuvenate... renew... revive... Whether it be old favourites in need of a little TLC, op-shop scores, hand-me-downs, or those garments you don't wear but can't bear to throw out... Now's your chance to give them the little lift or complete overhaul they've been crying out for. In this one day workshop we will give your old clothing extreme make-overs through creative and crafty manipulations of form, surface and embellishment. Tutored by Genevieve Packer, a Wellington based textile designer, craft enthusiast and lecturer in textiles at Massey University. Places are strictly limited so book soon! Fee $35

Kids, make your own badge – workshop
Sun 21 March 10am - 1pm
Design and make a badge for your cap, t-shirt or bag using Bernina’s computer technology. First scout through the Dowse for ideas and then design your badge using your choice of numbers, letters, shapes and pictures. We will then work with Bernina expert Diana Carroll to out-put your original design on the high tech sewing machine.
This workshop is aimed at kids between 5 and 12. They will be guided by Sarah Bourke, our Learning Programmes manager. No sewing skills are needed! Morning tea will be provided. Places are strictly limited so book soon. Fee $10

Surface Embroidery – demonstration
Saturday 27 March 1 – 3pm
Three diverse embroidery enthusiasts embellish and individualise a range of materials using Bernina’s latest computer technology, free-form machine work and even the old fashioned, hand operated needle and thread. Free

Please note:
Course fees are due before the day of the course.
You can pay at the Dowse 10am – 4pm weekdays or 11am – 5pm weekends or post a cheque to
PO Box 30396, Lower Hutt.

Please make the cheque out to The Dowse and state clearly your name, the course you would like to attend and a contact phone number.
We are happy to take phone bookings but if the course fills, then paid bookings will take priority.

Our floortalks and demonstrations are FREE so just come along!

The Hutt Valley Arts Society, located just across the road from the Dowse in Myrtle St, are also offering a great array of courses this year.

The following are being run in conjunction with exhibitions at The Dowse:

Funky Streetwear
Sunday 7 March 9.30 to 4pm
For 15 – 25 year olds
A chance to create your own funky T-shirt through fabric painting and screen-printing with Lorraine Abernethy. You’ll visit FRUiTS at the Dowse for inspiration and then create your own designs to print on to clothing. Fee $30

Create a Visual Diary
Sunday 10am-2pm
14 & 21 March, 16 & 23 May
A workshop for craftspeople, visual artists, magpie collectors and anyone interested in expanding their own observation, inspiration and visual creativity. Little or no formal training is required. You’ll form your own personal album to keep to remind you at a glance of things you find inspiring, store inspirational ideas in, and concepts for future development or notes as you develop your own ideas. Tutor – Lucy Moore.
Fee - $50

For more information on the Hutt Art Society’s courses or to book your place contact Anne Schofield on 566 0102 (or leave a message).


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